Madonna, Kiss, and ''Detroit Rock City'' made music news this week

By Tom Sinclair
June 18, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Love bite?
Perhaps it’s reassuring that Madonna now says spirituality is a priority in her life, but what about Love? That’s Love, as in the ’60s L.A. cult band Love. Some folks are hearing distinct echoes of the group’s 1967 song ”She Comes in Colors” in ”Beautiful Stranger,” Madonna’s contribution to the soundtrack of The Spy Who Shagged Me. ”Certainly, the riff and instrumentation are reminiscent of ‘She Comes in Colors,”’ says Rhino Records exec Gary Stewart, who co-compiled Love Story, the label’s two-CD retrospective of the band. Stewart also cites ”Beautiful Stranger”’s ”da da da da da” chorus, saying it appears to be based on ”an instrumental flourish that’s an integral part of the [Love] record. It may be a conscious or an unconscious homage.” But Madonna spokesperson Liz Rosenberg says it’s neither. ”Madonna never heard of the group. The song was inspired by her own personal experiences combined with the story line of the movie.” Main Love-man Arthur Lee, the song’s author, could not be reached for comment: He’s currently serving a 12-year sentence at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, Calif., for a gun charge.

You might assume that the soundtrack to Detroit Rock City, the upcoming summer flick about four kids trying to get into a sold-out 1978 Kiss concert, would be full of Kiss tunes. While there will be one new song (the Diane Warren-penned ”Nothing Can Keep Me From You”) and three oldies from Kiss, the CD will also include ’90s artists remaking ’70s hits. Confirmed tracks for the album, scheduled for a July 27 release, include Marilyn Manson covering AC/DC (”Highway to Hell”); Pantera, Ted Nugent (”Cat Scratch Fever); Everclear, Thin Lizzy (”The Boys Are Back in Town”); Drain sth, T. Rex (”20th Century Boy”). Kiss member (and Rock City coproducer) Gene Simmons, the foremost proponent of what he calls ”Kiss-tianity,” thinks the soundtrack might as well be a Kiss album: ”It looks like a hit. It’s our 33rd or 34th album, something like that…. Do we still have the cover [of EW] when the movie comes out?”

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